Thursday, March 23, 2023

Chinese Ambassador Hits Back as US Accuses Her of Undermining Them in The Bahamas

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As US-China relations sharply deteriorate, Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas Dai Qingli is not backing down and hit back at the United States after US generals say China is expanding in The Bahamas, where it has “built its biggest embassy in the world.”

Qingli, in a social media post, made light of the accusations, “What a compliment!”

US and China’s relationship is fraught with tension after a Chinese surveillance balloon was spotted in the US and was eventually shot down last month. Washington also accused China of aiding Russia in its fight for Ukraine.

Now Senior US Generals have accused Qingli of using the information space in the Bahamas to “undermine us each and every day,” prodding US lawmakers to assign an ambassador to the country, since it has not had a permanent US ambassador since 2011.

“We’ve got to pay more attention to this region,” General Laura Richardson, a commander of the US Southern Command, warned on Wednesday, in a committee hearing.

“The proximity matters. They (The Bahamas and Caribbean countries) are on the 20-yard line of our homeland. We are in a neighborhood, these are our neighbors, and we have got to pay attention to them.”

Richardson and General VanHerck, a commander of the US Northern Command told the House Armed Services Committee that China’s expansion in the Bahamas and other Caribbean countries is “aggressive.”

“The [People’s Republic of China] has the capability and intent to eschew international norms, advance its brand of authoritarianism, and amass power and influence at the expense of these democracies,” Gen. Richarson said.

“The PRC has expanded its ability to extract resources, establish port, manipulate governments through predatory investment practices, and build potential dual-use space facilities — the most space facilities in any combatant command region.”

The US and China are two world economic powers that are jostling for the number one spot. The US has long worried that China is gaining major influence in the region, accusing Beijing of pushing smaller countries into “debt traps.”

China has denied it is competing for influence in the region and said that its relationship with The Bahamas and the Caribbean is rooted in mutual benefit and needs.

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